tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC September 24, 2015 1:00am-2:01am PDT
forward on the damages part of the case. >> happy birthday liberated. it's an amazing moment. thank you very much for joining us. that is "all in" for this evening. "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. >> you're a good singer. >> thank you. >> "happy birthday to you" is weirdly one of those songs hard to sing. >> you start out too low and start scraping the bottom of your rage. >> i'm bad at singing everything. nobody's good at singing that, except apparently you. amazing stuff. >> thank you. >> chris hayes, what can't he do? well, thank you at home for joining us this hour. big day today. this is the video we shot today on g. street in downtown washington, d.c. it's a beautiful day today in washington, d.c. one of the most beautiful i can ever remember spending in this city. we shot this video today. you can see in the background of the shot as people are walking past what looks to be a homeless person, a homeless man sleeping on that bench. and people are walking by, they aren't paying any attention. but at closer inspection, if you
look at him, you look at it for long enough, you can tell, it's not actually a live person, it's a statue. that whole figure is slightly oversized, it's about 7 feet long, it's a statue of a man. you done see the face, the blanket pulled up over the face because that statue is so life like, though, it is a little bit disturbing, at a distance, it's even a little bit disturbing up close. if you look close enough and look long enough, ultimately it is not just disturbing, it is revelatory. because the one thing about this statue that tells you not just what you're looking at but who you're looking at is this. the marks on the man's feet. which are supposed to be the wounds that would indicate where he was nailed to the cross, where he was crucified. and that is the whole idea here. that this homeless person in the background, this homeless person sleeping on a bench that you just walked by is jesus.
and this statue is on g street northwest in downtown washington, d.c., about 5 blocks from the white house. and it's not the only one that there is. there's a few of these in different places around the country. interestingly, these homeless jesus statues are cast by this big burly canadian sculptor who makes them in ontario, canada, about an hour outside of toronto where he casts these sculptures. he's a catholic, his name is tim schmalls. but this one tomorrow, this one here in washington, d.c., just a few blocks from the white house. this one tomorrow will be blessed by pope francis himself. because this particular statue, this homeless jesus statue is outside catholic charities they're building in washington, d.c. and pope francis is due to pass right by this statue on his way to feed lunch to 300 local homeless people in washington tomorrow. because that is how he has decided to conclude his historic, unprecedented big speech to congress tomorrow.
not having lunch with congress after that speech, he's having lunch with homeless people. it's kind of an amazing decision in its own right, right? to go from the most pomp and circumstance our country can muster in this capital city to go from that to blessing the statue of homeless jesus and personally feeding the poor. but that pomp and circumstance at the capital tomorrow, that address that pope francis will make to a joint meeting of congress, he's going to make that address in english. that is an unprecedented thing. there have been several popes who have visited washington over the decades. no pope has ever addressed congress before. and so nobody knows what to expect in terms of how it's going to go. but you know, even today, the day before that big address, today was full of surprises, too. i mean, we knew there would be huge crowds here in washington. at the white house, at the -- outside the white house, all along the route that pope francis traveled through
downtown washington, in his sort of awesome open air jeep wrangler white pope mobile with the big white grab bar and the leather easy chair he never sat down in because he was standing the whole time. we knew there would be these huge crowds for him at catholic university and at the national shrine of the basilica where he celebrated mass in the united states today for the first time ever. we knew there would be these giant crowds in the streets, particularly on such a beautiful day. we knew there would be the sea of people waving and chanting his name and holding their phones up. so people could both see him, but also, take home a personal way to see him later and show their friends and their family how close they got and that they were able to document his presence themselves. we knew that. what we did not know. well, there were a number of things. we did not know that some of the nuns would not be able to control themselves when they saw him, and they would go kind of nuts and try to physically grab him as he passed by.
we didn't know that about the nuns. we didn't know today that the white house would have second thoughts about the 21-gun salute they had planned to mark the occasion of pope francis at the white house. 21-gun salute had been on the papal schedule the whole time there has been a papal schedule for this visit, but at the last minute, the white house decided to cancel the 21 guns citing, quote, the dissidents in welcoming a professed man of peace with the shooting off of a whole bunch of ammunition. we did not know today that pope francis would see this persistent little girl. see that little girl there, this persistent little girl holding the yellow t-shirt. being held back and shoed away by the pope security. we did not know today that when pope francis saw that little girl and saw she was trying to get to him, we did not know he was would wave off security and beckon the little girl to come over and talk to her and take what she wanted to give him. we did not know that after that stunning, very touching moment with that little girl that
afterwards that thpope's security guys just kind of set her loose, watch how it ended. when they like, so she gives the thing to the pope, that nice moment, and then, look, bye. the security just lets her walk off vaguely back into the crowds. hopefully to find her parents. they just let her go back on her own, presumably she got back okay. we'll actually have a little more on that little girl later on in the show. we did not know today that in the oval office, there would be this funny moment when president obama did kind of a little arm dance move and then pope francis did the same little move and they were doing this strange little arm dance thing together. they were joking around about shooing the press away from their private meeting. we did not know that pope francis would find a way, as crowds lined up to cheer for him and meet him every time he stepped out in public. we did not know he would find a way to have personal, direct conversational interactions with some individual people he picked
out of the crowd, like he did here. >> i will. i will. i promise. i promise. every day. >> pray for me. >> i will. >> don't forget. >> i will. he says, i need it. the man says, i promise, i promise. we also did not know -- we suspected, but we did not know, that contrary to the conservatives who warned it was a horrible provocation and terribly inappropriate and would all go horribly wrong today at the white house, we suspected but we did not know that contrary to those conservative warnings no sky would fall and no one would be embarrassed and no one would be shown up by virtue of the fact that some liberal nuns and some gay people and some trans people were on the list there today at the white house when pope francis arrived. there really were gays and liberal nuns and trans people and all sorts of people among those 15,000 people invited to
the white house. and turns out everybody was okay with that. including pope francis. >> after that time at the white house, a number of protesters would be arrested including one protester in a wheelchair. when those protesters laid down in the street to try to block the path of the motorcade, they were protesting the fact they would not ordain women to the priest hood. we did not know that newt gingrich's wife calista is in the choir. you know who that is, that's calista gingrich. we didn't know before today that pope francis likes bo and sonny. the white house released this photo of pope francis meeting the first family's presidential dogs in the blue room of the white house. tens of thousands turned out today where you could maybe lay
eyes on pope francis. even more tens of thousands people. tomorrow, honestly, it's going to be nuts. this whole trip by pope francis, the trip to washington and new york and philadelphia. the whole thing has been designated a national security special event. they say it's one of the largest, if not the largest security operation ever mounted in the united states. the secret service has the lead role in security throughout this entire trip. but tomorrow, there's going to be 50,000 people with tickets, plus untold thousands of people more without tickets all convening at the u.s. capitol along with every member of congress and a significant chunk of the supreme court if not the entire supreme court and a significant chunk of the cabinet if not the entire cabinet. and the president himself and vice president himself and both of their families, everybody will be convening there at the same time.
tomorrow, this unprecedented joint address to congress by pope francis will be, honestly, like nothing this country has ever seen before. and so by virtue of that fact, we have no idea how it's going to go. it's never happened before. there's no history to base this on. we also don't know what about it is important to him. we don't know -- we know something about him. and we see it in the small things, his decision to leave capitol hill tomorrow and not have lunch with congress, he's going to feed the homeless tomorrow and bless the homeless jesus statue. and you have seen gestures like that from the start of his time as pope. he's done everything he can to try to convey humility and charity, both in word and in deed. you probably remember this. as soon as he was elected pope in 2013, the very first thing he
did when it came time to leave the sistine chapel where the cardinals had just elected him, when it came time to leave the chapel and go to st. peters where he was going to be unveiled as pope, the first thing he did as pope was turn down the offered ride. he turned down what would have been his first ride in the pope mobile and instead, took the bus. even though, by then, he was no longer just a cardinal, he was the pope. he had to move out of some place else first. he insisted on personally paying his own hotel bill at the hotel where he'd been staying with the other cardinals before he was pope. he ultimately refused to move into the papal apartment in the vatican and, instead, lives in a couple of simple very spare rooms. on his first trip abroad to brazil, he insisted on carrying his own luggage.
on the first holy thursday, when other popes have used that occasion, that very holy occasion to wash the feet of bishops and other priests, pope francis, instead, went to a local juvenile detention facility and washed the feet of young prisoners, washed the feet of women. he has made a point of being rally unprotected. this is him in a regular car on purpose. he's been made a point of being rally unprotected, both in his means of transport and when he goes out of his way to not just initiate human contact, but to embrace human contact, including this little boy who wouldn't let go of him and then sat in his chair during public remarks. he's gone out of his way to not just welcome human contact, but to embrace it to an extent that is almost always surprising and we have never really seen before from this kind of a figure. he's the pope who installed free showers for homeless people to use in vatican city and set up a once a week free barbershop for the homeless.
on his own birthday, what he did for his birthday was distribute sleeping bags to homeless people in and around the vatican. that's who he is. and tomorrow, we're going to have an unfrancis like day. tomorrow, he will be afforded all the honors, all the regalia, the pomp and circumstance we have in a secular republic. he's going to be doing a presidential style state of the union, basically. and members of congress are expected to go so nuts for him at that event as we reported earlier this week, each party in congress has been told that they should designate specific members of congress for this event to basically be line backers for the pope on his way into the congressional chamber. for them to be full contact tacklers if necessary. and i'm not kidding. earlier this week, it was reported that the special blocking and tackling members of congress would be designated to occupy three seats on all the
way down the aisle on either side of that aisle that the pope will walk down in order to give his address. these members of congress would pledge not only that they personally would not bug the pope and they would not touch the pope, and they would not try to get selfies with them or, you know, get a handshake from him. these specifically designated members of congress not only agreed not to do those things themselves, they also, and i'm not kidding, agreed they as members of congress would put themselves on the line and physically stop any other member of congress who tried to touch the pope. so he can get down the aisle. well, we have now learned that these blocking and tackling members of congress will not be three deep on either side of the aisle. apparently they thought that was overkill. we're told today that for both the republicans and the democrats, they're each picking, each party is picking eight members of congress. so 16 of these members altogether who really will be expected to keep the peace
alongside the aisle. to keep the peace for the pope and protect him from any other members of congress who lose their minds when they see him and try to touch him or take a picture. we don't know who the eight members of congress who are designated for this task from each party, i cannot wait to find out. and, of course, we can't wait to find out what he's going to say. and whatever he says is going to have an impact in our country. there are 70 million catholics in this country, more than 1 in 5 americans are catholic. 30% of congress is catholic. 6 of the 9 members of the supreme court are catholic. interestingly, we have only ever had one catholic president, jfk and only one catholic vice president, who is our current vice president, joe biden. but this pope is such a constant surprise. he's such an unpredictable force.
and there are so many people so enthused and inspired and at least interested in this historic visit that however he chooses to handle this, whatever he chooses to talk about, he has the chance to change this country if he wants to. i mean, if he tries to move public opinion in this country, even if he only moved catholic public opinion in this country, that's 70 million people. if he moves hearts and minds in this address to the nation tomorrow on whatever subject he chooses. if he moves hearts and minds and public opinion, he will move our country. if he wants to. but nobody knows what he will do because nothing like this has ever happened before.
so we've got much more ahead tonight, including pope francis saying something nice about politics. and then politicians doing their very best to prove that nice thing wrong. plus, a big new national poll that came out. and there is some truly, truly lurid news out of pennsylvania tonight that has not been
lots of very unforced enthusiasm and excitement today all over washington, d.c. as a lot of different types of people, very diverse crowds of people flock to catch a glimpse of pope francis as he toured the nation's capital today. there'll be more events coming tomorrow including a political event of sorts that has never happened before in the history of our country. joining us now, michael, it's
great to see you. >> great to see you. glad to be in the same room. >> in terms of the unprecedented nature of what's going to happen tomorrow, i have been describing this as a pope speaking to a joint session of congress for the first time ever. he's not technically speaking to a joint session, is he? >> he's not. and that's the most minor difference i can think of. the technicians in the house and senate say it's actually a joint meeting, a joint session is usually when a president comes or sometimes when the ballots are counted from the electoral college about who is the new president. >> okay. >> but joint meetings have gone back to actually the king of hawaii, 1874, i think, was the first foreign leader to speak at one of these things. but the main one that we remember, i think, one that we think of is the major first appearance like this was winston churchill after pearl harbor, december of 1941, when he came to solidify the alliance between britain and the united states. >> this is not the first pope to
visit washington or obviously the first pope to visit the united states. this is the first pope to choose to do this. >> it is. >> to address this sort of a joint meeting. because it's first, does that mean there's nothing historically to extrapolate from in terms of what to expect? >> well, i think there is a lot. one is, why did he want to do this? i think he sees his role as something very important. we heard what he said about climate change, for instance, and other issues very burning in the united states. so he is someone who knows that in taking these things to the joint meeting of congress, he's going to put these things on the agenda in a way that, perhaps, he otherwise would not do if he was just giving speeches elsewhere in the united states. >> he does get involved in political matters. >> he does. >> he was involved, indirectly, it seems in setting up the united states and cuba talks that resulted in this. he sent a letter advising against military intervention in syria. there have been politically minded politically l activist
popes in the past. there is a way to map them neatly on to american politics? >> well, you know, i think for instance, john paul and ronald reagan when they were very close had something in common. they were both shot and nearly killed in the spring of 1981. they both felt they were spared to do something important. and we've learned in decades since then how much they really worked together to try to bring down the soviet union and end the cold war. so, you know, just guessing, given what they did, this pope and president on cuba, i would be astounded in this meeting today when they met in private they did not talk about what other ventures they would not do in foreign policy, as well. >> it is remarkable, talking about presidents and popes. 30% of the u.s. congress is catholic. >> right. >> 6 of the 9 members of the supreme court are catholic. we've only ever had one vice president who is catholic,
current one, and jfk is the only president who has been catholic. >> exactly. and how many female vice presidents and presidents have there been? our system has been slow in catching up but that's something when a pope comes and people see how important a pope can be and how powerful a force catholicism is in america and life, it does really, you know, make you stop and wonder how we could be so slow. >> nbc news, presidential historian, thank you so much for being here. >> my pleasure. >> it's an exciting time. >> sure is. >> we've got lots more ahead on, as i said, the pope saying a nice thing about politics, politicians doing their best to prove him wrong, part of that story is one of the more lurid things i have ever had to report about state politics in any state comes from pennsylvania today, and it will curl your hair. stay with us. wildlife rescue workers open up a lot of dawn. tough on grease...yet gentle. dawn helps open... something even bigger.
hot off the presses, we just got in some brand new polling in the republican race for president. this is the latest batch of polling post debate, post last week's second republican debate. it's a brand new fox news poll of republicans nationwide. and here are the results. as you can see, the big top line headline is exactly what you expect. the top part of these republican polls is now the boring part because donald trump is still on top. his 26% is actually the best showing for any republican candidate in any fox news national poll this year. ben carson's in second place after mr. trump, and he's the only other candidate in double digits nationwide. carly fiorina and marco rubio tied in third place, ted cruz in
fourth place. but check out the bottom of this poll. look down at the far end there on the right. rick santorum, bobby jindal, lindsey graham polling at 30% nationwide. jim gilmore is polling ahead of these guys, as is george pataki, killing it with 1%. whoo! and ra paul is at 2% nationwide. scott walker is the guy that dropped out of for lack of any support. but what happens with these gutter balls. rand paul is at 2% nationwide. more on the republican race and a new interesting war that broke out straight ahead.
on the occasion of this historic visit by pope francis to the u.s. -- behold. behold! a political miracle. as of today, donald trump can no longer fill a room! at least he couldn't fill this one in south carolina today. look at that. this was a gathering of the south carolina african-american chamber of commerce. donald trump's appearance for this appearance was announced two weeks ago. the campaign says they expect 1,500 people to be there to see mr. trump. well, that is not 1,500 people. perhaps a bit stung by that, mr. trump began his remarks today that half empty room by making it seem like this was just a last-minute campaign rally. just a thrown together thing.
>> this is fantastic. you know, wow. this is so nice. you had no notice. i can't believe all these people, you had no notice, they just asked me to pop by. i'm going to be in another part of the state in about two hours. and they asked me to pop by and look at everybody shows up. that's incredible. >> it's incredible. you had no notice. except for the notice that we gave two weeks ago when we said 1,500 of you would be here. also, when i say everybody shows up, i'm not talking about those empty chairs in the back of the room with no one in them. that's not everybody, well, that never mind. and so, you know, we have not seen very many pictures of rooms like this being addressed by donald trump. and maybe this is the beginning of the end. maybe his appeal is wearing off. or maybe this is just a fluke, or maybe donald trump is going to freak out at any possible indicators of his fading popularity and start a whole new
round of patented donald trump-related stunts. i pick door number three. as a presidential candidate, we've been through two rounds now of donald trump and fox news going to very public war with each other. and then having a truce. and then donald trump and fox news going to big public war with each other, again. now, as of today, now the donald trump fox news godzilla stunt war is back on, again, at 12:02 p.m. today, mr. trump tweeted this, quote, fox news has been treating me very unfairly, and i decided i won't be doing any more fox shows for the foreseeable future. everybody freak out! donald trump and fox news are fighting again. fox news then set out their own statement saying it was not his decision to cut ties this time. he couldn't quit, they fired him, or something. quote, at 11:45 a.m. today, we canceled donald trump's scheduled appearance on the
o'reilly factor on thursday. the press predictaby jumped to cover the tweet, creating a distraction from any real issues that mr. trump might be questioned about. when coverage doesn't go his way, he engages in personal attacks on our anchors and hosts, that's true, which has grown stale and tiresome, that's arguably true. he doesn't seem to grasp that candidates telling journalists what to ask is not how the media works in this country. do you care? do you care? if you don't, then maybe this is the beginning of the end for donald trump. if his stunts -- if the donald trump fox news stunts included are getting boring and repetitive, and we know how they end, then maybe he has pulled all the rabbits out of his hat. and after all these months his status will start to fade because people get bored. whether or not that happens, though, while donald trump today had trouble even half filling a
medium-sized room in south carolina on two week's notice, the man who is running second to him nationwide had no trouble filling a room at all in michigan and then some. today republican presidential candidate ben carson held a rally at spring arbor university in michigan around the same time as mr. trump's event in south carolina. 3,000 people were expected to attend to go see ben carson, but according to the county sheriff, more like 3,500 people showed up. ben carson contining to turn out very large crowds, overflow crowds in the middle of the day, middle of the week. even as the beltway collectively gasps at how his campaign is basically becoming an overtly anti-muslim campaign. it started this sunday when ben carson told chuck todd on meet the press he believes a muslim should not be president of the united states and that islam is incompatible with the constitution. the beltway press saw this as not just a cringe-worthy moment for ben carson or a continuation of the kind of extreme rhetoric
he has been using from the very beginning of his political campaign. beltway press saw this as a huge gaffe, right, as a potentially deal-breaking mistake for him. maybe it was all over for him because of this. but to ben carson, this really is consistent with everything he's been saying all along. this was not a gaffe. he is not running away from those comments at all. he is running on them. this is from his website right now. quote, i will not back down. i cannot advocate any muslim candidate for president. please stand in support of our shared values by making a donation now. our shared values. when it comes to reaching out to folks who do have these shared, anti-muslim values, ben carson is in luck among republican voters. in iowa where he is polling second to donald trump, dr. carson, i should say, the proportion of iowa republicans who say in the latest ppp poll that islam as a religion should be illegal in the united states, the proportion of republicans in iowa who say that is 30%.
if you just ask ben carson supporters in iowa, that number jumps to 35%, if you just ask donald trump supporters in iowa, that number jumps to 36%. and donald trump, the iowa front-runner in his own way has become increasingly explicit in his comments about muslims. after failing last week to shut down a town hall questioner who asked him to talk about the country's problem with muslims. the biggest news in the country right now, obviously, the biggest thing happening in news and culture and security and politics is this historic visit by the pope. which has brought with it, i think, inarguably the sort of moment of religious grace in the public sphere. at the same time, at the highest level of republican politics in this country right now they're at a very dark place. specifically, on the issue of religious freedom. and republican voters love it. so it doesn't appear to be
he speaks spanish and italian and german fluently. he speaks a little bit of french, little bit of portuguese and a little bit of english, but just a little. not super comfortable in english, so he rarely makes public remarks in english. but today, he went out of his way to make sure that he did. >> good morning. mr. president, i am deeply grateful for you welcome. i'm happy to be a guest in this country which was largely built
-- >> as the son of an immigrant family, this pope was raised by italian immigrants living in argentina as a son of an immigrant family, i'm happy to be a guest in a country which was largely built by such families. those were the first words that pope francis chose to utter for the public in english just in case there would be any confusion about exactly what he meant. and when the pope and pope mobile paraded through washington streets today, this little 5-year-old girl slipped through, made her way past the metal fencing. the pope personally signaled for his security to let her through. reportedly said, let her come to me. the guard picked her up, whisked her over to the pope, she gave him a yellow t-shirt, a note. this is that little girl, her name is sophia cruz, and this is the t-shirt she gave him. you can see a little bit more in this picture.
it says dapa, pope rescue dapa. stands for deferred action for parents of americans. it's a program that president obama announced last november to keep more immigrant families together in this country. that's now on hold in the courts. sophia also gave pope francis today this drawing which says in spanish, my little friends and i love us regardless of the color of our skin. i couldn't do a pope drawing that good. i tried today and it came out looking like a snow man. it was terrible. this pope's visit has particular resonance for us now as the refugee crisis globally dovetails with anti-immigrant campaigns leading in the polls here at home. republican presidential front-runner donald trump and his fervently anti-immigrant campaign said just today that if donald trump becomes president, the u.s. will take in zero
syrian refugees, zero. but now today, we see this pope saying his first words on u.s. soil in english about america being built by immigrant families. and we see him going out of his way to embrace that young daughter of mexican immigrants in a totally unscripted moment. with his vocal and direct and creative advocacy, both for reform on the issue of immigration, but also compassion on the issue of immigration, does he have the chance to move the needle for us as a nation? joining us now a democrat from california. congressman, thanks for being here. >> rachel, thank you for having me. great, great piece. >> thank you. you, i wanted to talk to you today because you have been such a passionate and creative, yourself, immigrant, immigration reform advocate in congress. and i just wonder how helpful you see it is that it is to have this pope on your side in the way he is. >> he hit a home run. he hit a home run.
and i say that not just as a member of congress. i say it more as a son of immigrants, the son of mexican immigrants. when he kissed that little girl, he was kissing me, kissing my daughters, he was kissing all of us who believe that immigrants come to make this country better and powerful. powerful. >> about a third, 70 million catholics in this country, 320 million people, that means like 1 in 5 people in this country is catholic in some way or another. a lot of us are lapsed catholics, identified catholic in some way means something other than going to church every week. with so many in this country, about a third of them are latino. and if you look at young catholics in this country, it is hugely latino. >> yes. >> i wonder how important do you think it is culturally and politically and in terms of the, you know, integration issues in this country. to have such an important catholic visit. in such a high-profile way. >> i grew up catholic. and i learned all about this.
i always knew how important the pope was. but did i ever have a pope speak to me so personally? did i ever relate so convincingly to the pope? this man can speak to me in english and spanish and so many other languages. he talks to me as someone who had the experience like i had. it's just -- it's a different thing, it's a different level, rachel, when he connects with you. you love him already because you're catholic. but you truly do grow inspired by him, and the love becomes real, not because you're supposed to because you're catholic, it's because he's talking right to you. and telling the rest of the world who you are. and it's fun. it's fun to have someone who can do the talking for you. because that little girl can speak for herself. >> yeah. and her boldness and him rewarding her boldness by saying, yeah, she got through, come to me. but let me also ask you whether or not what you're talking about there, that emotional part of it, including the joy you're talking about, whether that's potentially non-partisan.
whether that can transcend some of the ways we fight. he's going to speak to the meeting of congress tomorrow. can he be heard? will both parties be receptive to him? do you think people have open minds and open hearts? >> how can your heart not open up to the message of the pope? especially when he talks so passionately about this and so personally? will it change so that tomorrow we're able to do immigration reform? probably not. but does it make it easier? i think it opens that door. but more than open the door to that congress member. will start asking that leader they elected, hey, where are you, can you help us somehow put into fruition what the pope is talking about? jersey vargas, another little girl similar to this little girl a few years back in at the vatican was able to talk to the pope. she's here again. her father was on the verge of being deported. she asked and you'll probably remember. she asked the pope, can you intervene and help? you're going to meet with the president of the united states?
one of the first major religious documents that proep francis published after he started his participatecy was called "the joy of the gas pell." his first mass celebrated in the u.s. today he talked humbly about the joy of the gospel. joy is one of his favorite subjects. but the pope went out of his way to say a nice thing to spread some joy about politics, specifically. he says in that document, quote, politics, though often denigrated remains a lofty vocation. and one of the highest forms of charity in as much as it seeks the common good. which is really nice. politicians need that kind of good press, right?
but even pope francis is up against strong head winds in making that particular case to the american people right now. and i say that as somebody steeped in the elected official police blotter. for the first time ever we had a major candidate run for the presidency of the united states while under criminal indictment. rick perry has already quit the presidential race, but one felony charge is still pending. this is the year that one former vice presidential prospect, the virginia governor got sentenced to federal prison. due to report for corruption charges later this year. this is the week that an eighth-month prison sentence just started for a former new york congressman michael grimm. he threatened to break a reporter in half like a boy. he reported to federal prison to start serving eight months for tax fraud. today in new mexico, the local press was all excited because new mexico's secretary of state
apparently came to work. now in a normal state with a normal politician, that would not be news. but in new mexico, their secretary of state just got hit with a 64-count criminal indictment. 64 counts. alleging basically that she took campaign money, moved it into her personal accounts and then withdrew it and spent it at new mexico casinos to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars. diana duran is her name. she's not been going to work as secretary of state since the news broke, but she did go to the office today. she has beens to be the first republican elected to secretary of state in new mexico in 80 years or so. but the state legislature takes up her possible imimpeachment soon, that committee will be made up of equal numbers of republicans and democrats. that will be worth watching. on the democratic side, the biggest police blotter story involving a democratic politician right now, it honestly got so dramatic, i would be surprised if it doesn't turn into an mcis plot.
it was made a statewide electriced job in pennsylvania in 1980. she's the first woman and democrat elected to that job. but there is a problem right now with her status as attorney general, the highest ranking law enforcement in that state. because the state constitution says in order to be eligible for that job, you have to be a member of the bar. and kathleen cain, attorney general of the state of pennsylvania isn't right now. she just got her license to practice law suspended. we've been following the story for a little while, since criminal charges were filed against kathleen cain. these criminal charges say she leaked criminal grand jury charge against an opponent. she also pulled that amazing move when she was arraigned where her twin sister walked in ahead of her and distracted the
camera crews so she could walk in behind her twin so no one would hassle here. the state supreme court suspended her law license. when that goes into effect in 30 days it's not clear if she'll be allowed to do anything the attorney general does. she won't be able to make legal decisions or sign legal documents from her whole office. how is that going to work for the top law enforcement official in the state. what happens if you're the attorney general and not an attorney? that brings us to the second thing, which just happened today. beleaguered indicted attorney general kathleen cain in pennsylvania didn't just let the other shoe drop today. today she drew up the whole shoe store. what the charges against her about, these grand jury documents she's accused of leaking, they involve public officials and government employees using pornography and sending sexually explicit e-mails while at work.
well, today with her law license about to be suspended with the whole apparatus of state government and the judiciary tilted against her to try to force her out in pennsylvania, today she said while she still can act as attorney general, she's going to release all the porn, all the sexually explicit e-mails, all unredacted and all the names of people who sent them and used the e-mails and sent the e-mails. nothing blacked oit. she says what she's about to release imp pli kates government officials, members of the state places, judge, law enforcement officials in the state. she says she's going to make it all public. and then we're just see what happens. you want to throw me in jail for exposing you? how much time do i have. politicians go to prison.
politicians get indicted. politicians get impeached if they don't quit after they get indicted or convicted. and honestly, it's a liberal and a conservative thing and a republican and democratic thing. it happens. we have what is about to be a thermonuclear bombshell. and it's not chris christie. you will not hear that story anywhere else but here. but in the middle of this cultural and religious moment we're having with this adored pope reminding us of the lofty and noble purpose of politics, as long as they're waged for the common good, it's either depressing or might be inspiring that here in our country so many of our high-ranking politicians end up having mug shots. either we can despair because so many are crooks or we can find joy in fact fact that they're not above the law when they are crooks.